Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Truly Human EnhancementA Philosophical Defense of Limits$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Nicholas Agar

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262026635

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262026635.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use (for details see http://www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 17 October 2017

The Threat to Human Identities from Too Much Enhancement

The Threat to Human Identities from Too Much Enhancement

Chapter:
(p.55) 4 The Threat to Human Identities from Too Much Enhancement
Source:
Truly Human Enhancement
Author(s):

Nicholas Agar

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262026635.003.0004

As radical enhancement provides us with less valuable experiences it tends also to undermine the identities of those who undergo it. This undermining manifests as a threat to the connections of autobiographical memory that either explain human identity over time, or explain a human being’s sense of herself over time. This chapter’s investigation of the effects of radical enhancement on personal identity differs from many other philosophical discussions of the effects of certain kinds of change on human identities. In many discussions the goal is to identify facts constitutive of our identities. These facts would be properly included on a list of necessary and sufficient conditions for human survival. If we decide that the application of a given technology disrupts a necessary condition for the preservation of human identity then we know that the application of the technology necessarily ends a human individual’s existence. Here I argue that radical human enhancement poses a different kind of threat to human identities. Like holidays in war zones it should be viewed as dangerous. Radical enhancement should be viewed as posing a threat to our autobiographical memories that we are unlikely to survive.

Keywords:   Personal identity, Psychological continuity, Autobiographical memory, Life extension

MIT Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.